里仁齊道 Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way








里仁齊道 Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way

里仁齊道 Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way

(PD) 里仁齊道 Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way — Li Ren Chi Dao on Golden Light Through Trees

(Wording and photograph enhancements by Larry Neal Gowdy.)



Larry Neal Gowdy

Copyright ©2018 August 20, 2018




里仁齊道 Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way


里仁 (Li Ren) is considered to be one of the four most important Confucian classics. The importance of the book relative to Chi Dao, is mostly within how Li Ren portrays the way of quality individuals.

(li) infers hometown, native land, neighborhood, in, inside, lining, liner, within.

(ren) infers benevolence, humane, humanity.

The title itself is vague, and is able to imply many things, from 'National Benevolence', to 'Inner Benevolence', depending on which meaning that an individual derives from the book's words.

里仁齊道 (Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way) chooses 'Inner Tone' because the Li Ren book appears to give most importance to an individual's own inner qualities, rather than the book focusing on national or neighborhood external behavior.

The common English translations of (ren) are of 'benevolence' and 'virtue'. Unfortunately, in English, 'benevolence' is defined to merely be kindness and generosity. A bad man can act with kindness and generosity if he wishes for the behavior to be of a material advantage to himself, and so, benevolence is not an adequate word to be used for speaking of a quality man's inner traits.

The word 'virtue' is an unknown in all western cultures. Philosophers have debated the meaning of 'virtue' for about three-thousand years, and continue to debate the meaning. Eastern philosophers still debate the meaning of (ren) also. If neither the English nor the Chinese languages possess a firm definition of what 'virtue' and 'ren' imply, then it is not useful to use the word 'virtue' within an English translation.

Of the inner ingredients that create a quality man's state of 'virtue', as well as the ingredients that agree with the book's descriptions of what a quality man is, are centeredness, inner harmony, reasoned fairness, expressed fairness, heart-felt compassion, mindfulness to all things, heart-felt caring for others, and various other creative states that are expressed from the heart, and are not the mere external obeying of teachings and customs.

Therefore, the words 'benevolence' and 'virtue' are weak, and not worthy of use. There are no good alternative words within the English language, and, so, therefore, 里仁齊道 (Li Ren Chi Dao - Inner Tone Harmony Way) chooses the word 'tone' to help point at what exists and what occurs inwardly as an individual expresses the external behaviors of what are said to be those of a quality man's.

Generally, all thoughts are as the 'electrical' effects upon organic tissue, and, if there is a difference between thoughts, then each effect will be of a different 'tone' upon the body. Most commonly, the effects are said to be inner 'emotions'. The inner tone of an individual who is mindful, caring for others, thoughtful of fairness, and within harmony of himself, the combination of the 'ingredients' creates an inner 'tone' that radiates outwardly.

Individuals who naturally think by being conscious of their own expressions of inner body emotions — muscle and organ tensenesses that are, in part, used for reasoning — to those individuals, the concept of an inner tone is very clear and elementary. Individuals who are not conscious of their inner sensations, the idea of an inner tone might not be understood.

An individual who merely obeys a teaching, their inner tone is cold, selfish, it does not radiate outwardly, and the tone is focused upon merely performing external behaviorisms that are not the natural expressions of one's own inner nature. The quality individual, their inner tone is warm, of heart, and the external expression is natural, honest, and not the following of a teaching.

Within the book Reality of 2003, the concept of an inner tone was given the name of foundational emotion. The inner tone can be described from many different perspectives, but, for the Chi Dao perspective, the focus gives additional emphases upon how a quality 'foundational emotion' is expressed within harmony of Nature's way.

Therefore, the idea of 'Inner Tone' points at the natural and honest expressions of what might be said to be 'virtue', and, Inner Tone helps to distinguish that it is not honest to express an external act that is not in harmony with the internal tone.

Within the concept of 'virtue' and 'ren', the quality man is honest; his outward expressions are of harmony with his heart and mind, and if his external behavior is creative within Nature's way, then the man can be said to be 'virtuous' and 'of quality'. The not-quality man is dishonest; his outward expressions are not of harmony with his heart, and though the not-quality man might mimic the same outward actions as a quality man's actions, still, the not-quality man's actions cannot be said to be 'virtuous' nor 'of quality' because the not-quality man's actions and inner tone are not creative — not just, not fair — nor in harmony with Nature's way.




'Virtue' is not measured within one's outward behaviors as witnessed by observers; 'virtue' has many petals, including the acts having arrived from one's heart, the acts being honest, and the acts being in harmony with Nature's creative way.

Therefore also, if the title 里仁 (Li Ren) were to imply 'National Benevolence', then the book would be ignoring the quality man's inner qualities, while promoting the idea of dishonest external behaviors.

Also, if the book 里仁 (Li Ren) were to be aimed at the ideal of a nation achieving an inner tone similar to that of the quality man's, then the book would be unreasonable, because it is not plausible that many individuals might be able to exert the self-effort to achieve the inner qualities. There do not exist any known public English teachings of how to achieve the quality man's inner qualities, nor is the way spoken of in 里仁 (Li Ren), and if the way is an unknown to the public, then why would any individual believe that a people might achieve a thing that is unknown, and unknowable to them?

Therefore, the favored interpretation of the title is 里仁齊道 (Li Ren Chi Dao) Inner Tone Harmony Way.

For a short time on this website, 道德愛 (dao de ai - daodeai - Way of Love) was presented as a means of pointing at the things that harmonize to create a quality inward nature of individuals. 道德愛 spoke of the petals that create inner harmony, and of how the petals nascent. The concept of 道德愛 remains valid, although, however, the title of 道德愛 has been changed to 齊道 (chi dao - Harmony Way). In the English, the word 'love' is as the word 'virtue'; 'love' has no meaning in English. Therefore, choosing the word 'harmony' permits a little better pointing at the how, the why, and the petals that are creative like Nature.


Contradictions of Translations


Common English translations frequently interpret the book's words in one manner, and to then, on the very next sentence, give an interpretation that conflicts with and fully contradicts the previous sentence's words. The common English translations, have no chi dao. The following is an example of common English translations of two Li Ren sentences that are in sequence.

"The master said: It is only the truly virtuous man who can love, or who can hate, others.

The master said: If the will be set on virtue, there will be no practice of hate."

The first sentence infers that virtuous individuals express hate. The second sentence infers that virtuous individuals do not express hate. The sentences sharply contradict, and cause the whole of the book to be meaningless.

The word used for 'hate' in both sentences is (e or wu depending on the translator's choice) which infers 'evil', sometimes translated to imply 'nauseated', and other times translated to imply 'hate, to loathe'.

The Chi Dao way is to observe the words, observe how the words were used, to self-reflect of how similar emotions might exist within one's self, to then form a concept of how one's own emotions might be worded, and to then choose the words that best fit the firsthand experience.

Chi Dao draft version:

"Master said: Only quality man able (to be quality towards) good person, able (to be quality towards) evil person.

Master said: If-indeed ambition of quality to-have, nothing evil also."

The common English translations are presented in sequence, without the words retaining memory and connection with previous words: no durations of thought in the English translations. The original Chinese words are fluid concepts that are best understood within the durations of how each word's definition influences the other words' definitions.

Sequencing Chinese words as if the Chinese language were English, does not work; it cannot transfer meaning.

The first sentence is also able to be interpreted to be parallel to a judging of people's behaviors as being 'fair' (good) and 'unfair' (bad). The act of judging a thing as bad, does not require the emotional expression of hate, but, rather, the judging of improper behavior might merely be as an inner 'downward tone', one that might be very mild, but yet still express an aversion to another person's disharmonious act, because, one's own inner tone is negatively influenced.

There is a parallel within the Christian verse of Luke 14:26: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." The Greek word for "hate" is misei, which, according to Strong's, infers 'I hate, detest (on a comparative basis), love less, esteem less'. Ideally and relative to the other Jesus teachings that taught to love everyone, the verse seems most reasonable to be translated to be something closer to '…if any man not esteem me more than his family'.

Likewise, the common English translations of 里仁 (Li Ren) have inserted disharmonious English words that do not relate to the original words, nor do the English words make sense in English.

里仁齊道 (Li Ren Chi Dao) Inner Tone Harmony Way observes the original words, compares the individual words' meanings to what is real within a real person's life, and then chooses the English words that best harmonize and enable a meaningful modern English translation of the ancient Chinese texts.

里仁齊道 (Li Ren Chi Dao) Inner Tone Harmony Way is not available online. Interested individuals can email for more information.